by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special ticket discount for KRL readers at the end of this review, and a video interview with Daniel Hernandez & Dominic Grijalva.
I have been a fan of the movie Singin’ In The Rain starring Gene Kelly forever, and had the pleasure of seeing a touring company perform the stage version at the Saroyan about 20 years ago. So I was excited when I heard that they’d be doing it this season at Roger Rocka’s, and I have to say that the tap dancing was amazing! That alone is a reason to hurry on over and see this show!
In case there is anyone out there who hasn’t seen the movie (if you haven’t I urge you to rent it ASAP) the basic plot is this. Two big silent film stars, Don Lockwood (played here by Daniel Hernandez) and Lina Lamont (played by Paige Parker), find themselves faced with the reality of talking pictures. For the talented and charming Don this isn’t a problem, but Lina’s voice and ditsy blonde persona are a huge problem. They find their solution in a young actress that Don bumps into earlier in the show, Kathy Seldon (played by Danielle Behrens). Kathy voices Lina in their first talkie. Throw in a best friend for Don, Cosmo Brown (Dominic Grijalva), some quirky movie studio execs (Mike Buckman and Steve Souza), and a love triangle, and you have the foundation for plenty of hilarity, romance and fun!
As I stated earlier, the dancing in this show was incredible and so was the energy! I’m blown away by the fact that neither Daniel or Dominic have had much tap training–they are naturals! Daniel and Dominic tore up the floor with “Moses Supposes,” Dominic was great in his comedic solo number “Make ‘Em Laugh,” and the title song “Singin’ In Rain” took me to tap dance heaven! Other favorites were “Good Morning,” with Daniel, Dominic and Danielle, which included all of the familiar moves from the movie, and Paige was delightfully hilarious in “What’s Wrong With Me.” If I let myself, I could go on and on about the songs because I love them all–they are just so fun they stay in your head for days–not a lot of new musicals do that.
I have heard Daniel and Dominic sing in other shows and they have incredible voices–singing though wasn’t the strongest point of this show, as the range seemed a bit low for them here and there. However, they still did a good job. But really Singin’ In The Rain isn’t about big belting songs, but it’s about the happy, fun songs and the GREAT dancing.
When I saw this show at the Saroyan, they were able to use real water for the rain, which I missed in this show, but understand how hard it would be to pull off–the special effects with the lighting in this production however did a good job of providing the illusion of rain. The set was perfect including the iconic lamppost, and the film bits of Daniel and Paige’s silent movies were hilarious! And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how incredibly funny Paige was as Lina.
This is a happy and fun show, especially if you love tap, big dance numbers, fun songs and comedy. I could watch Daniel perform “Singin’ In The Rain” in a continuous loop for days! So head on out to Roger Rocka’s and let yourself be transported back in time to the days of the great old movie musicals!
Singin’In The Rain is on stage at Roger Rocka’s through November 11. Learn more on their KRL event page.
Special Offer for KRL readers: Mention Kings River Life Magazine at the time of reservation and see Good Company Players’ “Singin’ in the Rain” at the discounted group rate. Savings of up to $7 per Dinner & Show reservation. Offer valid any Sunday evening performance through October 28. Box Office: (559) 266-9494.
Interview With Daniel Hernandez & Dominic Grijalva: